Sunday, July 29, 2007

Fe, Fi, Fo, Fu...Fum

Friday morning, the caller ID identified the call coming from a neighbor of the Weebles.

“The telephone’s not working,” said Dad.

So, somehow it fell to me to report the problem to the telephone company. I couldn’t find a repair number in the telephone book. It used to be there. Now they list the web address, and I wanted to talk to a human. Finally, found a number and connected into the automated service trying to troubleshoot the problem. A tip from the several phone representatives I had talked to the week before was to keep shouting ‘agent’ at the computer and eventually I would be connected to a human.

“In order to help you, please briefly describe the problem…”


“If the problem has to do with billing say ‘Billing’”


“If you need technical support, say ‘Tech….”

“Agent! Agent! Agent!”

Himself was chuckling.

“nal Support.”


“I understand you wish to speak to an agent. Is that correct?” the pleasant automated female voice asked.


“Please hold while I connect you to an agent.”

There was a brief pause.

“For quality control purposes your call may be monitored.”

There was another pause.

“This is Jeremy, may I help you?”

“Yes, Jeremy, I’m calling to report a problem with my father’s telephone. You’ll need to send…”

“Oh, before we can send a technician we have to troubleshoot the problem. What seems…”

“My father is 88 years old. His telephone is not working. There is no one that can…”

“But we need to troubleshoot….”

“Look, my father is 88 years old. He isn’t going to be able to go to the network box outside, because he doesn’t know what it is. I’m 30 miles away and can’t troubleshoot for you. You people were out there yesterday and installed FIOS into his home.”

“But we can’t send someone to the house until we trouble shoot the problem. And if we send someone there will be a charge….”

“No, no, no, no, no! There will be no charge! You people were out there to install equipment. The phone was working before your people got there. It’s not working now. That means it’s your problem Something wasn’t installed properly. He shouldn’t pay so you can correct your mistake.”

“But we have to troubleshoo…”

“Connect me to your supervisor.”

“My supervisor is going to tell you the same thing…”

“Amuse me. Connect me to your supervisor.”

“But we have to troubleshoot the problem. And I don’t want to waste your time.”

“Your wasting my time now!” I shouted. “The man is elderly. He has no phone and won’t be able to troubleshoot the problem. I’m 30 miles away and can’t troubleshoot the problem. So, connect me to your damn supervisor!!”

“Would you hold for two minutes while I get the supervisor?”

“Yes, thank you. I’ll hold.”

There was dead air and I continued to talk just in case my call was being recorded. “You people really ought to change your policy when it comes to the Elderly.”

A faint click. “This is Jeremy. My supervisor said someone will be dispatched to the house, but there will be a charge…”

“No! What part of you people installed FIOS YESTERDAY and now there’s a problem with the telephone TODAY, don’t you understand! He is not going to pay for a service call for YOUR TECHNICIAN’S MISTAKE!”

The supervisor must have been listening in and signaled to Jeremy.

“There won’t be a charge. But someone better be at the house to…”

“Someone will be there.”

I think we each slammed the receiver at the end of the call.
I was worried Dad would happily skip downtown because it was Friday, and Friday is the Glee Club rehearsal at the Senior Center. As McNamara the leader of the band, he won't give up rehearsals or singing engagements for love nor money. I called the neighbor lady’s house, identified myself and asked if Dad was there.

“No, he left. I could walk up the street to give him a message.”

Now this poor old soul is in worse shape than my folks “I just wanted to tell him that the telephone repairman is coming and Dad needs to be there to let the repairman in the house.”

“You want me to tell him there’s a package coming and someone has to sign for it?

Help me, Lord! “No, Dearie, the telephone repairman is coming to fix the phone.”

“Oh,” and she hung up the phone.

A helpful but belated suggestion from Himself. “Why didn’t your dad just call the phone company?”

“Because he thinks I’m his secretary Janet and I’ll take care of the nitty gritty details of his day!”

I did a search for the Weebles’ other neighbors’ telephone numbers rejecting this one and that one.

“What about the people in the brown house?”

“She’s a nurse and works. What’s the name of the fella who bought your mother’s house? No, he’s a fireman and works day shift. His wife works too.” I tried calling the people who lived to the right of the Weebles, but got an answering machine. I hope
Dearie can make it up the street to deliver the message and then back home again.”

About an hour later, the telephone company called. “This is Pete. What seems to be the problem?

“Pete? I just pay the bill. I’m 30 miles away and can’t answer your question. All I know is the Weebles don’t have a telephone. My 88 year old dad, walked all the way down the street to a neighbor’s house to use her phone to call me. You just need to head over to their house. Someone will be there.”

Pete was very nice. Said he understood and would be on his way. I just hope Dad was home because Janet wasn’t going to be there to let Pete in.

Later in the afternoon, Dad called from his home telephone. “It’s all fixed.”

“Good, I’m glad. And Dad? Next time you have a problem with the telephone. You need to call the telephone company. They have questions they need to ask you. Questions that I can’t answer. I just pay the bill. I'm not Janet."


Wednesday, the day the FIOS technician was to arrive at the Weeble’s house. Midmorning, I received a call from a telephone company representative telling me the FIOS order was cancelled.

“Somebody at the house sent the technician away.”

I couldn’t imagine Dad sending the technician away as he was so adamant about bundling the telephone with FIOS. Could Ma have refused to let the technician in the house? The only way to find out was to…


“Hi, Dad, it’s me. Did you send the FIOS technician away?

“No, he was here. He came in and I showed him the computer. He did something, and the computer worked. Said I didn’t need the FIOS, and he left.”

“Ok, but without the FIOS, your telephone won’t be bundled and you won’t get the flat rate.”

“Oh, I want that.”

So I called the phone company back and spoke to another representative. She told me the technician had logged the work order was cancelled by someone at the house.

“Is my father connected to FIOS?”

“No, he’s still with DSL.”

After much go around, the problem became apparent that there are now two different departments in the phone company, and neither talk to the other. There was an apology and another appointment was made. I called Dad back to make sure he would be around when the technician arrived the following day.

The next day, Dad called me to say the technician had installed the FIOS. They had an awful time wiring the house trying to find a means to bring optic cable into the house. They had to crawl through the crawl space under the eaves. I felt sorry for the technicians as it was a thousand degrees outside and under the eaves is hotter than Devil Dad was very pleased with the work they did. The technician left him a manual, and he was happy.

“And the computer goes a lot faster too.”

“Uh-huh.” As if he would be able to tell the difference, but he was happy and that’s all that mattered.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Gunga Din

At 3PM, I began pacing. I pace when Himself is late getting home. He had taken the Weebles shopping, and I had expected him home by 2PM. I paced to the refrigerator, and began rummaging through for some stress food. Grapes. Nope. Baby carrots, nope. I closed the fridge door.

The front door opened and I heard Himself close it with a deep sigh.

“Everything ok?” I asked.

Himself shuffled into the kitchen. “You owe me big time. I’m going to bed.”

“You went to Wendy’s today and used up all your points,” I called after him.

“You take Excedrin before you go visit the Weebles. I take Wendy’s.” He closed the bedroom door.

After his nap, I begged him to tell me what happened.

I opened the Weebles front door and yelled “hello”.

Dad’s voice floated from his upstairs refuge. “Hello?”

Ma responded, “Hello”

“Himself is here,” shouted Dad coming down the stairs.

“Hello?” she called.

Dad went to Ma’s room. “Himself is here.”

“He’s here? Why didn’t he say ‘Hello’?”

“Then they ran around like chickens without heads looking for the pockabook, the walker…which by the way, why does she have three in the house and doesn’t use any of them?”

“It’s a sympathy prop,” I said shoving a bag of microwave popcorn into the nuker. “What happened then?”

“Then she was yelling at him to get the bag and the list, but she had her handbag…”

“The bag is the bag filled with cans for the soda return.”

Himself nodded. “And the list. Why do they bother taking a list? Neither one of them looks at it.”

I brought my bag of popcorn into the sunroom and settled into my comfy chair. Himself trailed after me, and sat in his recliner.

“It’s like a little security blanket. It’s just something to hold onto. Then what happened?”

“I got them herded into the car, and we’re heading down the road. Your mother starts telling me I should have taken the secret road to avoid all the downtown traffic.”

“You don’t head out to 135 by North Main, by the Army Labs?”

“No, I go all the way down Walnut St., take a left by the Outdoor Store, and….”

“She didn’t yell you were going the wrong way?”

“No, but she wanted to!”

I laughed so hard and choked on the popcorn. I waved my hand to indicate I was quite fine and for him to continue.

“Got to Market Basket.”

“Did you have trouble getting a handicap space?”

“No, there was one right by the door. I offloaded them and parked. When I get into the store to help your mother she’s no where in sight. I can’t see her because she’s so far below eye level.”

“That’s why you need to watch the other shoppers to see who suddenly dances a tarantella.” I rummaged through a stack of papers for a notepad and pencil. “Hello, hello, bags and list, wrong way….”

“What are you doing?”

“I’m taking notes so I can blog.

Himself looked to the ceiling and implored the heavens.
“Stop that! Just get on with your story. Did you find Ma?”

“Yeah, she was in produce.”

“Did any tomatoes commit suicide?”

“No, she did pretty good, until we got to the frozen vegetables. Someone rearranged the department so she couldn’t find what she was looking for. I’m running up and down the aisle and bringing things to toss into the cart. I go to toss in a package of peas and carrots and she’s gone!”

“Where did she go?”

“I’m looking around for her and find her in the ice cream aisle.”

“Oh, she usually gets in trouble over there. She always manages to jam the scooter under the freezer toe kick. Did she get stuck?”

“No, that happened later. Oh, forgot to tell you about the meat. We’re blessing all the meat and she’s looking for a particular cut. I grabbed one of the meat guys. She wanted a ‘filet mignon from the shoulder’. The meat guy looks at me, to translate, and I shrug. He went into the meat department and came out with some packages.”

“What did she want?”


“Is that when she got stuck?”

“No, I’m getting there. By this time, she sent me to look for your father because she wants some Phillipo Berrio [imported olive oil] I finally found him over by the fish market. There must be a men’s room behind there. Boy, did it stink!”

“The men’s room?”

“No, the fish market. I wouldn’t buy fish there if you paid me!”

“So, what happened about the Phillipo Berrio and her getting stuck?”

“They were in the oil aisle, and he grabs a gallon of the Phillip Berrio. She asked him the price and then yelled at him that it was too expensive. As if it was all his fault! She started going down the aisle and she tried to maneuver to let a couple of other shoppers pass. She was trying to be nice, but she ended up making this 12 point turn and ended up horizontally between the aisle shelves.”

“What did you do?”

“I picked her up, scooter and all and turned her the right way.”

I laughed with a hint of schadenfreude, shameful joy, better him than me. “Was that the end of the adventure?”
“No, there’s more. We’re just about to make the turn from 9 to 27 when she said she had to go to the Citizen’s Bank. So I headed over to the Stop and Shop [Citizen’s Bank has a branch inside]. She said, “Not this one! The one downtown!”

“You didn’t take her, did you?”

“I did.”

“I refuse to take them to the bank downtown. There’s no parking and I can’t see to back out onto Main St. So why the hell did she have to go downtown.”

“Because she wanted to yell at someone behind a desk. She had one of her ‘winning’ checks….”

“Say no more,” I said shaking my head. “Did you stay to watch?”

“No, I couldn’t. It was a thousand degrees outside, and the ice cream and frozen veggies were already melting. They sent me to the house to put that stuff in the freezer.”

“And you went back downtown to pick them up?”

“Well, yeah, I couldn’t leave them standing on the sidewalk.”

“You’re a better man than I, Gunga Din.”

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Can You Hear Me Now?, 2

When the phone rings, I ignore it unless I recognize the caller ID. When the call came through from the phone company, I ignored it. We dumped the phone company in favor of having our phone and Internet services bundled through the cable company. So I thought the call must be a “we want you back” call. We also dumped their wireless phone service in favor of pay as you go Tracfone. When I heard the message tone, I thought it must be in reference to the 17 cent balance on the wireless bill that I didn’t pay.

The message was from a customer service rep. Dad gave her my phone number so she could talk to me about switching his DSL service to FIOS, since I pay for his DSL service. Help me, Lord, what now? I called her back.

The phone company, like other providers, offers a deal where the customer will save on services if the services are bundled. Dad had received information about lowering the telephone bill, and he was very much interested in that idea.

The phone company had wired the Weebles’ street for FIOS (fiber optics). Dad was under the impression that since the phone company had done this, he would automatically get the deal for a flat rate monthly phone bill. He would be able to call anywhere in the lower 48 and not pay extra for long distance calls.

He was indignant to find his bill didn’t reflect any change. So, he wrote a letter to the vice president of the phone company stating if they didn’t give him the monthly flat rate service, he would take his business elsewhere.

I nearly choked with laughter. Where did he think he was going to go?

The phone rep. explained the FIOS deal to me. Dad’s telephone and Internet service would be bundled and appear on the same bill for a monthly rate of $70.00 (give or take taxes). Now, I was only paying $14.95 for his DSL service which was cheaper than the dialup service I had started him with.

The Phone Rep was happily chattering on about savings. My mind was whirling with the fact, once Ma saw the “new” phone bill, now $20 or so more than the “old” monthly bill, there was going to be hell to pay. Not to mention though Dad may save on his phone bill, the Internet service I pay for him is going up a whopping $55.05

I called Dad to discuss the finances with him. He insisted he wanted the phone company to wire the house for FIOS though he didn’t understand why he didn’t have it already. He saw the phone technicians working on the poles.

“Dad, it’s like the gas company. They run the gas pipe down the middle of the street, but if you want the gas company to heat your home, you need to have the gas company connect your house to the street.”

Several go arounds with the need to save money had me wishing I could take the gas pipe.

By this time, Himself came home, and he had the pleasure of sharing a bottle of whine with me.

“He isn’t going to be able to afford $70 per month. We can’t take on his bill for $70 a month either. I just thought letting him have a computer was a good idea. It would open up a whole world for him. He’d be out of Ma’s hair. How do I get myself into these things?”

Himself graciously refrained from saying, “You had parents.”

We finally decided the best solution was to split the bill with Dad. Afterall, we owned the furnace, why not FIOS too.

The customer service rep was very helpful when I called back. (We also held a Weeble support group meeting as her dad is 86.) She explained the wiring that would be done inside and outside the house. I made sure there would be no installation charges involved. She explained once the house was wired for FIOS if for some reason he hated it, the computer could not be switched back to DSL. There was a 30 day trial period if he hated FIOS, it would be uninstalled without breach of contract or de-installation fees. She also agreed to have the bill sent to me.

“There, all set,” she said brightly. “He’ll be amazed at the speed.”

“The speed won’t really matter because he can barely turn the computer on. You did say the technician would be installing a new modem with a wireless router?”


“At least there’s the little ray of sunshine. We can bring our laptop and get work done.”

“There’s one other thing I noticed about their phone bill.”

“What’s that?”

“Do they know anyone in Kingston, Jamaica? There’s a $30 phone call to Jamaica.”

“Jamaica? They don’t know anyone there. I’m about the only long distance call they make.”

“Fine, that's what I thought. I’ll have billing remove the charge.”

It occurred to me after I hung up the phone, Ma might have made the call to Jamaica. She probably received a call this number to find out if you’re a winner. To her, Jamaica would be Jamaica Plains, a suburb of Boston, a local phone call and not a foreign country. Go ahead Rolling Eyes , I did the same thing. I’ll wait.

The last phone call of the day was to Dad to explain the billing and that a technician would be going into the house to install any wiring.

“And I’m saving money!”

“Yes, Dad, you’re saving money.”

Lord, can you hear me now?

New World Order

Since Ma and Dad first were married 64 years ago, Ma managed the purse strings, and Dad got an allowance. Instead of working as a team, both of them have this silly “my money – your money” concept. Their system generally worked fine until about 20 years ago when Ma became addicted to the phony lotteries and scam artists, and she whizzed through their savings. She blithely writes checks without having the funds to cover them. The bank happily slaps her with finance charges though they are generous in charging only $5 per bounced check instead of the $35 per check most banks charge their customers. The finance charges add up to a tidy sum per month.

A city girl, born and bred, Ma hated the town they moved to. She wants to move. She wants to move back to East Boston and into an apartment for $100 per room. She wants her rent to be $300 or $400 per month, utilities included! Rolling Eyes

She wants to teach Dad a lesson so she issued him an ultimatum. She will no longer pay for "anything". So, Dad took her up on her challenge. He went to their bank, had his social security check removed from the direct deposit to Ma’s checking account. He went to another bank, opened up his own account and authorized his social security check to be direct deposited into the account. Yes, you can say it. It’s about #%@#@ time!

I was concerned initially he might not be able to handle the expenses, especially the property taxes which are payed quarterly.

He said he would be able to manage. "I'll do alright as long as I can hold her off."

"Her" I assumed was Ma. "What do you mean?"

"The other day she asked me to write out a check so she could send it to one of the scammers."

Altogether now, Rolling Eyes

"What happened?"

"I told her 'No!'"

I think Dad's enjoying himself. Long live the King!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Laying On of Hands

Long ago, in my former life, I was a computer programmer/consultant. Back in those days, the computer systems were the size of a Buick, and programmers were treated like gods. I'd go to a client and personnel would part like the Red Sea as I walked through the office. Bow Down Together I would lay my hands on the machine and bring crashed programs back to life. Heady stuff along with the satisfaction of solving a problem, usually human error.

A year or so ago, we gave Dad a computer. I thought it would open up a new world for him, as well as keep him out of Ma's hair. I signed him up with America On Hold. Assured him I'd pay the bill so Ma wouldn't see anything. I'm not overly fond of AOH, but it is the easiest portal to use. I spent lots of visits with Dad going through the basics of turning the machine on and off, how to get his mail. Dad spent many hours Computer Smash I constantly heard complaints. "They don't give me my email," as if there are little people inside the machine who like to aggravate the user. "I've never seen that screen before," in reference to the Windows logo that comes up when la machine is turned on.

DSL became available in their area through the phone company and for less money than I was paying for AOH. A lot of his complaints had to do with no being able to get online. I thought high speed would be the answer as he'd always be online. Cancelled AOH and signed him up for DSL. DSL would be better. He could surf and the phone would still be available in case of an emergency. The dial up always worried me as I thought what if there is an emergency and in their panic he forgot the phone was still connected to the computer. Yes, DSL would be better.

The phone company sent me an entire kit to make the connections, the modem, splitter for the phone. I only had one phone that proved to be a problem as it still had the four prong jack instead of the modern module system. It was an easy enough problem to solve. Since the room isn't in use, I unplugged the phone. There's a bit of residual static on the line. This from an old phone in the basement that was hard wired into the phone line. Not an approved telephone company procedure. Shy Whistler However, it doesn't seem to interfere with the computer.

So, got him up and running and still hear the same complaints. "They" are really out to get him.

Dad called this morning and as I thought he had given up on the computer was surprised when he said,"I turned it on, but nothing happens. It's been like this for three days."

Now, the Young One had played on the computer during the Ave Maria festivities. She didn't have any problems getting online to YouTube.

"What do you mean "nothing happens"? I asked instantly going into consultant mode.

"The screen is blank. I can hear the sound when I turn it on, but don't see anything."

"Is the computer on now?"


"Okay, turn it on and tell me what you see."

A few seconds later, I could hear the CPU drives engage and the happy chime of the Windows logo.

"There? Did you hear that? Now nothing."

"Nothing? Did you see the Windows logo on the screen?"


I started ticking off possible problems, the video card was blown, or a problem with the monitor, and I decided to go for the obvious. "Did you turn on the monitor?"

"What's that?"

"The television screen in front of you. Did you turn that on?"

"No. I never had to do that before."

I've always had to turn on his monitor, but I didn't want to get into an argument. "Ok, try turning on the mon...the television screen in front of you."

"How do I do that?"

I tried to picture his monitor. "There should be a button on the front of it."

"Oh, I see it."

"Push it."

"Oh! There it is!"Bow Down

Nineteen years away from the industry, and I still haven't lost my touch. I just might have to wear two cowboy hats because my head is so big. Cowboy Cowboy

Close Cover Before Striking

I had to take Dad to an appointment at the V.A. to have his medication evaluated for a discount benefit.

Ma was industriously going through all her old junk mail sorting things to burn in the fireplace. I told her she shouldn't be burning anything in the fireplace. Ordinarily, I'd think a match would do wonders for the place, but it reeks of smoke. She won't open a door or window for ventilation because she complains of the cold, even when temperatures soar into the 90s.

She said she had to burn sweepstakes papers. She's convinced the mail carriers went through her trash. Someone won $10,000 earmarked for Ma, and to add insult to injury, they called Ma to tell her about it. Na-na-na-na

Dad and I headed off down the road. When we got back, there was such a noxious, toxic smell. I told Ma she shouldn't burn anything. She said it was her house and she could do what she wanted.

Talking to Dad later, I asked him if he knew what she was tossing in the fireplace.

"She throws everything in there. She burns the styrofoam plates we use and the liners from the meat."

Rolling Eyes

I have tried to tell her that styrofoam is toxic, but my warnings fall on deaf ears. One can only hope that the neighbors will call the EPA to complain about the factory next door. I'm sure the chimney stack isn't the requisite height. In the mean time, might be worth it to invest in a gas mask.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Ave Maria

To most folks, July 4, is a day for cookouts and fireworks. For my family, The Fourth is another holy day of obligation, the Weebles' wedding anniversary. This year, their 64th.

The Eldest had to work the holiday, and Himself stayed home in case she called saying the boss let them out early. He also had to go in search of a large pot to cook the prize she won in a raffle. (If you have nothing better to do, you can read all about her prize at The Compost HeapWinky) That left the Youngest and I to head to the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Perpetually Clueless for the afternoon service. As planned, we stopped at the nice, clean, modern supermarket, Stop and Shop, two miles from the Weebles'. There was a special on roses so we picked a dark coral bouquet. I asked the florist clerk if she could wrap the flowers while we finished the rest of the shopping. We picked up strawberries, angel food cake and fat free Redi-whip, two cards, and some other items I needed. The clerk surprised us by adding babies' breath and leather leaf fern to the roses making a really pretty bouquet.

There were a lot of people in the store. Most of them were picking up hotdog and hamburger buns, and the checkout lines were moving quickly. We had made good time down the Pike so I told the Young One we would visit one of the other stores to kill some time. We had 10 items in the cart. I debated whether or not to use the self-check out, but decided to use the 12 item express lane. I placed our items on the conveyor belt and waited, and waited and waited. The young woman ahead of me was having a debate with the check-out clerk over the price of a bag of chips. The clerk called a runner to go check the price. We waited some more. The Young One observed so much for an express lane, though it was helping us to kill time. Finally the chip dilemna was resolved, and our order was rung up.

Out in the car, I tucked a bit of cash into each card. The cash was really more for Dad than Ma. She controls the purse strings. She's so tight when it comes to an allowance for him. So tight, she squeaks when she walks. He doesn't always have ready cash to get a hair cut or buy himself a cup of coffee. So I slipped some cash into his card. Slipped an equal amount into hers. The Young One asked why I didn't just get them one anniversary card. Explained that if I put all the cash in the card, Grandma would take it all and Grandpa would get bupkis. With the nitty gritty taken care of, we went over the highway and by the woods to Grandma's house.

I rang the bell and then opened the door and annouced "It's me!" so I wouldn't scare the Devil out of them. The Young One gave Grandma the flowers. Grandma was thrilled. She had been feeling down figuring we had forgotten all about them. She made much over the flowers. They were the same shade as her wedding colors.

I began getting things ready in the kitchen waiting for the arrival of the other pilgrims. When they arrived, Ma beamed. Almost all her chicks singing Aves to her. She was well pleased.

Ma has a small table in the livingroom that opens out to a dining table. The table is littered with Ma's business, all the you-have-won junk. She began issuing orders to clean the table off, but I quickly squelched that. It would have taken us days to relocate the items on her flat file.
She sat in her chair, arms folded across her chest. "Hmmm. In my own home I can't give orders."
I considered it tit for tat. I sent the Young One and The Boy downstairs with Grandpa for three extra chairs. We cozily sat around the kitchen table to have coffee and cake.
For the most part the Weebles were on their best behavior. Ma tried a few snipes. How her son in law does everything for her. She tried the chorus of The He's Stupid song. She hounded the Boy for the price of the cars at the dealership where he works. She wanted to know if he could get her a car.
"Got $40,000?" he asked.
"I will next week. I got a big check coming in. I was notified."
We all sang the Kyrie Eleison. Rolling Eyes

Ma then asked where she could find a typewriter. The general consensus was at an antique store, but we weren't sure where one would find useable ribbons. Ma wants to type her checks because her handwriting is deteriorating. The scammers must be calling complaining they can't read her checks.

"What was that thing you used to play with?" she asked the Brother.

He looked at her blankly.

"The thing in your lap that you used to play with."

I tried not to lose composure, but I couldn't help it. I began to giggle and caught the Brother's attention with a hand signal which reduced us to gales of laughter. ROTFL

All in all we had a fun time. After all, it was only a couple of hours out of our day to make an old lady very happy.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Minutes from The Ladies' Sodality July 3rd Meeting

The younger parishioners of Our Lady of the Perpetually Clueless got together at the North Parish Hall for a night of fellowship and fireworks.

The Brother cooked hamburgers, hotdogs, sausage, on the grill to perfection. Macaroni salad, baked beans, tossed salad, chips, salsa, fruit salad, cookies and soda. Supper was eaten al fresco. As always, the Sister-In-Law was the perfect hostess.

The evening’s entertainment was provided by the city, a spectacular fireworks display. The North Parish Hall is on a hill so we had the perfect spot for viewing, sheltered under the gazebo away from the bugs. Fireworks

After the fireworks display, the Ladies’ Sodality met in the kitchen for an emergency meeting to discuss whether or not to make a pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Perpetually Clueless to pay obeisance to the Weebles and their long marriage on the Fourth of July, 64 years of marital bond…er bliss. The Knights of Kyrie Elieson joined the meeting. There was some discussion as to whether this was a Holy Day or a High Holy Day.

The gist of the discussion was that if a celebration wasn’t held, there’d be hell to pay, and if a celebration was held, there’d be Hell to pay. It was rather like a pork roast, the one who was not going to have any fun was the pork.Pig

The Ladies’ Sodality bent under the pressure and decided a pilgrimage with coffee and would be the best way to save the bacon. The pilgrimage would begin from the North and South parish halls. Parishioners would arrive at 2pm at the Cathedral. The North parishioners would supply the coffee, and the South parishioners would supply the cake. The Weebles could be counted on to provide the fireworks.
The meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,